Honestly, it was going to be football songs until I heard the Manics’ lyrically difficult Together Stronger and then realised that it couldn’t be football songs. So instead we’re going to rock out.
Rocking out for Wales is HARK, who come out of Swansea bearing monstrous riffs with big beards and black t-shirts. They’ve got very pleasing graphic design and they’re touring this summer, so you know, go and see them.
Rocking out for Portugal are Twin Transistors, who come from somewhere in Central Portugal and describe themselves as a locomotive in motion, a steamroller, and as having weight, density and power. Physically and metaphorically, they are correct.
Stelle – Twin Transistors [Admirably restrained and cool stoner/doom]
Palendromeda – HARK [Ankle-deep in riffs, dripping with Welsh rock power]
The marvellous people of Wales are doing us proud in the football and also in the musical world. Did you expect to be listening to some hot New Orleans-style Welsh language brass band hip hop tonight? Neither did I, but do enjoy Band Pres Llaregub.
For Belgium we have something slightly more conventional, in the shape of Liege band Hollywood Porn Stars who are back from a long break with some new wavey indie rock.
Nythod Cacwn – Band Pres Llareggub [Funky Welsh language hip hop via New Orleans]
Be Scared – Hollywood Porn Stars [Angular, paranoid new wave indie rock]
And for the second time in the competition we’ve got two of the Home Nations meeting one another and it’s going to be a heck of a match.
For Wales, Anelog make textural, analogue sounding folk pop. For Northern Ireland, The New Portals are the R&B influenced new face of twee-pop group The Jeppettos and make slick, summery pop.
Y Mor – Anelog [Totally lush, folky song with unexpected chord progressions and a lovely rhythmic breakdown section]
Stay Here Tonight – New Portals [Ignore the video. Listen to the luxurious vocal harmonies]
Once more, Russia are playing and once more I have a lovely song for the team they’re playing and once more I’m struggling to find something that I’d be willing to post.
For Wales we have lo-fi legends Helen Love with their delightful football-themed song about being in love with the pride of Cardiff, the king dragon, the man with the golden foot.
For Russia, I’m giving you Buranovskiye Babushki because to be honest, the Russian football fan scene doesn’t produce adorable novelty pop hits.
Party for Everybody – Buranovskiye Babushki [Do I have to explain what this is?]
A Boy From Wales Called Gareth Bale – Helen Love [Passionate cri de coeur about a certain handsome and talented Welsh footballer]
I’m not sure how this happened, but this is how it is. It’s England playing Wales in Euro 2016 and I’m going to make you listen to Mutya Keisha Siobhan (the original and best set of Sugababes) and Gwenno.
You’re familiar with the concept of the Sugababes, but I feel like Flatline never got the recognition it deserves, so that’s England. You might be less familiar with the concept of Gwenno, but she’s ace, so that’s Wales. Both of these are very good pop songs. Game on!
Flatline – Mutya Keisha Siobhan [The best English girl group since Bananarama with their best single since Overload]
Fratolish Hian Perpeshki – Gwenno [Angular yet dreamy electronic pop stuff from a hopeful alternate future]
We don’t normally cover bands from the UK at Listen Outside, but for Euro 2016 we’re making an exception. Wales’ veteran weirdoes Datblygu take on Slovakian experimental pop band PPE.
Pop Peth – Datblygu [Indie y Gymraeg, very danceable]
Davaj Het – PPE [Sprightly, bouncy experimental pop]